Mayco's crystal glazes, Crystalites™ and Jungle Gems™, are non-toxic gloss glazes that contain glass frit crystals and specks that melt during the firing process. As these crystals "bloom" and spread they produce dramatic, colorful effects. Our crystal glazes feature a fluid base glaze which allows for greater crystal flow and movement.
Some qualities of Mayco's Crystal glazes include:
Shake well prior to each application coat. The reason for this recommendation is that the crystals will settle to the bottom of the jar in a short period of time. If you notice the crystals settling during an application you can either dip your brush to the bottom of the jar to re-dispense or attach the lid and shake vigorously.
During the application of the third coat of glaze you may find it necessary to re-distribute crystals, or add crystals, on your piece to assure balanced coverage. Use your brush to push crystals onto thinly covered areas or dip your brush into the jar and gather crystals onto it, then "pat" them on the sparsely covered areas.
We recommend a broad, soft brush, such as a CB-604 #4 Soft Fan Brush, to apply crystal glazes. The fan brush may help more in the even disbursement of the crystals, thus creating a more pleasing pattern in the fired glaze.
Because of the flowing nature of the base glaze and the crystals we suggest tapering off the number of crystals applied to the bottom third of vertical piece. Glaze and crystals could run off the piece or gather at the base and form unsightly lumps. Similarly horizontal pieces, such as a plate, could cause the glaze to pool excessively if crystals are too heavily gathered on sloped section of the piece.
Crystalites™ and Jungle Gems™, were designed to fire to cone 06. Higher temperture firings will change the colors from cone 06 results and movement and flow WILL increase.
Crystalites and Jungle Gems used by themselves create canvasses bursting with color.
Used as a design element they bring vibrancy beyond opaque glazes.
The kids call them "Art in a Jar" - you may grow to appreciate what they can add to your glaze decorating.
(Download flier of cone 06 images - Click Here)
Crystal glazes create a beautiful contrast to opaque and specialty glazes, projecting physical and visual textures.
Enjoy the "happy accidents" where the glazes mingle and interact.
Our crystal glazes can add excitement and interesting blending effects when fired to higher temperatures.
Down this pdf: Cone 6 Results to view additional examples of crystals fired to cone 6.
Q: What advice to do have for firing Crystal glazes at higher temperatures?
A: Crystal glazes, already prone to move, will move that much more at higher temperatures. The crystals will lose some of their definition and act more as a blending agent. You'll wan to be careful about placing glaze too close to the bottom of your piece - in addition to stilting you may want to put a tile or a piece of scrap bisque beneath the piece to prevent glaze from running onto your kiln shelves.
Q: What are some of the ways I can use Crystal glazes in my design work?
A: Simply apply the crystalites in the pattern and apply as the above directions stated. Several rings of the Crystalites placed in varied patterns are also attractive. Interesting patterns may be obtained by placing several rings of crystals in a necklace-like placement around the piece. The glaze may need to be strained in order to separate the crystals for this procedure. The crystals are then applied using a brush or small spoon in a linear necklace-like ring around the piece. This can be several rings in sequential order or in a zigzag pattern to produce the most pleasing effect.
Q: Your label states that Crystalites™ and Jungle Gems™are "Food Safe", yet you also include the statement "May not be suitable for food surfaces due to surface characteristics"?
A: Food Safety is determined by standards established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). ASTM method C-738 and C-927-80 are "leach tests"; the tests involve measuring the chemical composition of an acidic food before exposure to a glazed surface and the chemical composition after a several days. If the levels of glaze materials found in the food are below the established limits, the glaze can be marketed as "Food Safe."
Glazes that create dimensional surfaces also create crevices and nooks that can trap food - even after washing. This food can develop bacterial growth and cause health issues. Our policy is to discourage the use of textural glazes on ware that is intended for food usage even though the glaze has met all food safety criteria.
Q: Can I mix leftover crystals into other glazes?
A: Yes. Foundations Sheers would be a good choice as these glazes will allow the crystals to expand much like the base glaze of Crystalites™ and Jungle Gems™.
"Shake jar well and stir before each application to keep crystals evenly distributed. Using a fan brush, apply three even coats shelf cone 04 (1060° C) bisque, allowing to dry between coats. Avoid placing crystals on the bottom of the piece. Fire to shelf cone 06 (999° C). Do not spray apply without proper personal protective equipment. Food safe. May not be suitable for dinnerware due to surface characteristics."